We asked our community of IT leaders what they see on the horizon for 2023; Edge, digital transformation, Metaverse, the IT skills gap, and more were of note.
What opportunities are you most excited about as technology reshapes our businesses and lives? Whatever your focus is, the year ahead holds a lot of promise for IT leaders and their teams.
Read on for advice and a few reasons to get excited for 2023.
There is no single edge
Gordon Haff, Technology Evangelist, Red Hat –
“Different edges are implemented for different purposes. Edge servers and gateways may aggregate multiple servers and devices in a distributed location, such as a manufacturing plant. An end-user premises edge might look more like a traditional remote/branch office (ROBO) configuration, often consisting of a rack of blade servers. Telecommunications providers have their own architectures that break down into a provider far edge, a provider access edge, and a provider aggregation edge.
Finally, even if we talk about a core data center, that needs to be more concise. Many organizations will complement a core data center with regional data centers to better handle redundancy, large data transfers, and data sovereignty requirements. The edge is hybrid!”
Technology is upleveling human capital
Richard Yu, Chief Product Officer, Formstack –
“While low-code/no-code tools will make it easier and faster to adopt digital technologies in traditional business processes, people won’t be replaced by technology any time soon. While technology will reduce today's mundane and repetitive tasks, people still need to create and maintain these automated tools. Technology is upleveling, rather than replacing, human capital and its role in creating value for our economy.”
CIOs: stay focused on your digital transformation journey
Shiva Nathan, Founder and CEO, Onymos –
“In 2023, I implore CIOs not to buy into the hype around metaverse technologies unless your company’s primary/sole focus is metaverse related. Instead, CIOs will gain more by focusing on their digital transformation journeys. Every step toward digital transformation yields real-world gains, and in the recessionary market that will define 2023, such gains are force multipliers for the organization’s health.
There is one silver lining in the gloomy market conditions we perceive ahead of us that CIOs can leverage; digital transformation initiatives that didn’t make the cost-benefit cut earlier, compared to moon-shot initiatives – or through sheer non-availability of talent – are all now feasible to implement. A digital transformation initiative that can yield even a small return in a shorter time is a good option.”
Solutions for the IT skills gap
Naveen Zutshi, CIO, Databricks –
“The tech and IT skills gap has been a challenge this past year. I expect the IT market to be relatively soft in 2023 as companies get more conservative with growth and expansion. We’ll see more companies start to hire talent that is newer to the workforce, supported by increased internships, year-end programs, and other upskilling opportunities. Since remote work will become the norm, companies can find the talent they need regardless of location (and with more diverse backgrounds). This will also push companies to pay attention to staff training and career development programs, helping employees who may not have the deepest technical background learn quickly and contribute.”
CIOs should directly address bottom-line value metrics
Chris Bedi, Chief Digital Information Officer, ServiceNow –
“The key to helping other C-suite leaders gain a greater understanding of IT technologies, practices, goals, and limitations is the CIO’s ability to translate technology initiatives into bottom-line value metrics. For example, by grounding a technology initiative explicitly into a potentially positive impact on P&L, C-suite leaders can more easily understand how it will help their business. Solutions such as process mining can be difficult to understand for someone without technical expertise. However, you are directly addressing the goals and metrics other C-suite leaders care most about by framing the solution around how it decreases operating costs by removing bottlenecks, which could improve deal velocity if deployed in a sales org.”
Smart investments will lead to innovation in 2023
Bob Quillin, Chief Ecosystem Officer, vFunction –
“CIOs will be focused on practical investments that accelerate digital expansion and IT innovation (and that will actually pay off in 2023, not the future). However, CIOs may be operating under a darkening cloud of reduced budgets and even scarcer resources, so KPIs will center around balancing speed, ROI, and risk using automation and efficiency as an accelerant to modernize existing application portfolios and infrastructure. These investments in 2022 carried a huge technical debt load and tax on IT organizations, but in 2023, will unlock instant innovation and act as a catalyst for measurable digital impacts.”
2023 will be the year of the citizen developer
Ed Macosky, Chief Innovation Officer, Boomi –
“I’ve already seen more citizen developers at Boomi than in the past. In one example this year, team members in our HR department utilized low-code technologies to create an application for employee recognition. The IT team had nothing to do with it except providing employees with the low-code tool. This is the start of an influx of citizen developers at every company. IT teams will be able to hone in on addressing complicated problems while team members in non-technical roles from throughout the organization can take the lead in developing tools that best meet their needs.“
Observability moves beyond DevOps in 2023
Nima Negahban, CEO and Cofounder, Kinetica –
“Observability is based on exploring patterns not defined in advance. The term has been applied exclusively to software used by DevOps teams to root cause multi-cloud application health issues by facilitating ad-hoc questions across the full corpus of data. The premise of observability is transferable to detecting and resolving issues in complex business processes and products, such as connected cars, energy management, precision agriculture, smart cities, and more. In 2023, we’ll see the data from sensors used to instrument operations truly harnessed for business value with the design pattern in observability showing the way."
CIOs will be pulled between competing priorities as their role continues to evolve
Alastair Pooley, CIO, Snow Software –
"As we enter 2023, CIOs have earned a seat among the decision-makers and are now at the helm of company-wide technology decision-making. Amid a volatile economic climate, IT leaders must prioritize reducing costs, but they are finding themselves pulled between contrasting concerns of managing spend, dealing with security risks, and fostering innovation.
As they navigate an uncertain market, CIOs will need to analyze company usage, along with their previous experience, to rethink business approaches and make decisions. The goal is to identify ways to reduce spend across the company, but not at the expense of key areas like cybersecurity and innovation. Quantifying the return on any investment has become more crucial than ever. In addition, leaders must ensure they are prepared for security threats as issues like business email compromise and ransomware continue to proliferate. The time to respond to a crisis is shorter than ever, and uncertainty lies ahead. Leaders cannot afford a lack of preparation for future challenges."
Tech stack audits will determine winners and losers
Chris Byers, CEO, Formstack –
“In a good economy, operating expenses sprawl because there is enough revenue to cover inefficiencies, like duplicative software. But because no one can afford inefficiencies in a bad economy, companies will soon audit their tech stacks, determine the industry leader in a category, and cut everything else. In 2023, the biggest wins will come from software that provides a suite of applications instead of single, unintegrated point solutions.”
Developers and engineers will leverage data to drive decision-making
Shadi Rostami, VP of Engineering, Amplitude –
“In 2023, we’ll see the work of developers and engineers more directly tied to business impact. With heightened scrutiny of budgets and ROI, we’ll see developers and engineers devoting much more time to measurement and reporting. The ability to deliver data against what product enhancements are working and what aren’t will be imperative. To optimize time and spend, I expect companies to invest more in self-serve tools that empower teams across the organization to analyze and leverage data to drive decision-making. Especially as organizations continue to reduce headcount, restructure teams, and freeze hiring, the ability to democratize data analysis across an organization will allow teams to continue to deliver critical insights while keeping costs down."
Analytics at the edge will go mainstream
James Li, Co-founder and CEO, CelerData –
“Analytics at the edge may not be a new concept, but 2023 will see more happening at the edge than ever before. Today’s terminal devices are almost as powerful as low-end servers, and the increasing availability of 5G networks has enabled the transmission of more data at higher speeds. As more data is pushed to the edge, it will enable real-time decision-making in the field, shorten response times, and reduce cloud infrastructure's compute, storage, and network costs. For these reasons, along with lower technical barriers, we will see greater interest in analytics at the edge in 2023.”
Prioritize the customer experience
Peter Altabef, CEO and Chair, Unisys –
“As we look at the forecast for the economy, some enterprises wonder if the focus on employee experience that dominated 2022 will still matter. The truth is it matters even more. Why? In a down economy, customer experience is even more important to your company’s success. One of the biggest contributors to poor customer experience is poor employee experience. Prioritizing the employee experience will lead to better customer experience and, in turn, improve a company’s bottom line.”
[ Discover how priorities are changing. Get the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report: Maintaining momentum on digital transformation. ]